The concepts of Liberalism and Socialism are set in effective motion only by money. It was the Equites, the big-money party, which made Tiberius Gracchus’s popular movement possible at all; and as soon as that part of the reforms that was advantageous to themselves had been successfully legalized, they withdrew and the movement collapsed. Cæsar and Crassus financed the Catilinarian movement, and so directed it against the Senatorial party instead of against property. In England politicians of eminence laid it down as early as 1700 that “on ‘Change one deals in votes as well as in stocks, and the price of a vote is as well known as the price of an acre of land.” When the news of Waterloo reached Paris, the price of French government stock rose — the Jacobins had destroyed the old obligations of the blood and so had emancipated money; now it stepped forward as lord of the land. There is no proletarian, not even a Communist, movement that has not operated in the interest of money, in the directions indicated by money, and for the time permitted by money — and that, without the idealist amongst its leaders having the slightest suspicion of the fact. Intellect rejects, money directs.
(Oswald Spengler, The Decline of the West, Vol. II. London: George Allen and Unwin, 1918, p. 402).
Once upon a time, Freedom and Necessity were identical; but now what is understood by freedom is in fact indiscipline.
(Oswald Spengler, The Decline of the West. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1926, p. 292).
We are born into this time and must bravely follow the path to the destined end. There is no other way. Our duty is to hold on to the lost position, without hope, without rescue, like that Roman soldier whose bones were found in front of a door in Pompeii, who, during the eruption of Vesuvius, died at his post because they forgot to relieve him. That is greatness. That is what it means to be a thoroughbred. The honourable end is the one thing that can not be taken from a man.
(Oswald Spengler; quoted in Whittaker Chambers, Ghosts on the Roof: Selected Essays. New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers, 1996, pp. 76–77).
Gunpowder and printing belong together — both discovered at the culmination of the Gothic, both arising out of Germanic technical thought — as the two grand means of Faustian distance-tactics. The Reformation in the beginning of the Late period witnessed the first flysheets and the first field-guns, the French Revolution in the beginning of the Civilization witnessed the first tempest of pamphlets of the autumn of 1788 and the first mass-fire of artillery at Valmy. But with this the printed word, produced in vast quantity and distributed over enormous areas, became an uncanny weapon in the hands of him who knew how to use it. In France it was still in 1788 a matter of expressing private convictions, but England was already past that, and deliberately seeking to produce impressions on the reader. The war of articles, flysheets, spurious memoirs, that was waged from London on French soil against Napoleon is the first great example. The scattered sheets of the Age of Enlightenment transformed themselves into “the Press” — a term of most significant anonymity. Now the press campaign appears as the prolongation — or the preparation — of war by other means, and in the course of the nineteenth century the strategy of outpost fights, feints, surprises, assaults, is developed to such a degree that a war may be lost ere the first shot is fired — because the Press has won it meantime.
To-day we live so cowed under the bombardment of this intellectual artillery that hardly anyone can attain to the inward detachment that is required for a clear view of the monstrous drama. The will-to-power operating under a pure democratic disguise has finished off its masterpiece so well that the object’s sense of freedom is actually flattered by the most thorough-going enslavement that has ever existed. […] Democracy has by its newspaper completely expelled the book from the mental life of the people. The book-world, with its profusion of stand-points that compelled thought to select and criticize, is now a real possession only for a few. The people reads the one paper, “its” paper, which forces itself through the front doors by millions daily, spellbinds the intellect from morning to night, drives the book into oblivion by its more engaging layout, and if one or another specimen of a book does emerge into visibility, forestalls and eliminates its possible effects by “reviewing” it.
(Oswald Spengler, The Decline of the West. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1926, pp. 460–461).